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Author Topic: The Gov't is Telling How to Drive Your Bus  (Read 3062 times)
Lin
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« on: January 26, 2010, 01:16:55 PM »

First they took away tv and movies and now this.  Pretty soon all you be allowed to do is sleep!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/26/AR2010012602031.html

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« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2010, 01:24:06 PM »

Finally something I'll be good at...Sleep...Cable
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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2010, 01:32:51 PM »

Don't text, don't twitter,.... if the phone rings while driving, the wife answers it or if she is not with me i pull over and stop or just call back when i get somewhere.  Should all be banned for all drivers as far as i am concerned.
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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2010, 01:50:50 PM »

It's about time. People are just too darn dumb when it comes to mobile communications devices. That of course excludes all law enforcement officers on duty.

I did notice they left out the locomotive engineers like the one near LA 18 months ago. There was one other recently but where escapes me right now.

In Enfield, NC about 4 weeks ago there was a mother, her nine year old son and 4 month old daughter in her vehicle. Well she was talking on a cell phone while approaching a highway-rail grade crossing. She and the train were heading in the same direction, with the train catching up to her. Well guess what, she drives throught the down crossing gates and then STOPS on the tracks. Mother and son dispatched permanently and the 4 month old daughter survived because of being in a child safety seat - also goverment mandated. Everyone of the local business people swore up and down the lights/gates were not working, had a history of being reported and nothing being done in response. Good thing Amtrak has gotten fed up with these type folks and equipped the locomotive with a video recorder. When viewed by the NCSHP the video showed everything as it happened and that all saefty devices were working. They also checked cell phone records and found out she was in conversation up to the point of impact when the call was disconnected.

Again, some people are just plain stupid in there actions without regard for their lives or the lives of others. By the way, the conductor was the same conductor from a train 8 weeks ago that also killed a mother and two children in Durham at Ellis Street. That mother simply stopped on the tracks in a line of traffic and could not get out of the way. I say smash the gas in forward or reverse. Lots less damage that way. There has been no expression of concern for the mental well being of the locomotive engineer or train crew much less a published apology for opening their mouths and insertin both feet immediately following the crash.

That is a little more than two cents worth but it is an issue close to me.
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Will Garner, Jr
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kyle4501
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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2010, 01:59:45 PM »

When AM radio was first offered in cars, there were loads of people opposed to that because of the distraction it would cause.  Roll Eyes

I see a bigger problem from kids in the back seat. . . .  Shocked


The real problem isn't the phone, it is the idiot driving! Some people shouldn't be allowed near a steering wheel. The real problem is the misconception that driving is a birth right rather than a privelege that must be earned. It appears that restricting certain actions is easier than fixing the real problem . . . .  Sad


Seems a better solution would be to impose fines if you cause a collision while on the phone. But what to do about the other distractions from other sources (dingbat passangers, that cutepie in the next lane, eating lunch, the super duper sized drink that spilled & is drowning your passanger, etc . . .  Grin

The same logic used to restrict cell phone use can be used to restrict the size RV you can have since the bigger it is, the more damage it can cause. . . . After all, studies show a 40,000 pound vehicle can cause more damage than a 2000 pound one. . . .   Shocked
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« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2010, 02:02:15 PM »

What, they didn't mention all the people putting on their makeup, eating jelly donuts while holding a cup of Coffee, trying to force a Big Mac into their mouth, reading a book or trying to figure out where they are on a map.

Cell phones is just one thing that should be banned while driving!

Stupid is as stupid does! Wink And you can't fix stupid! Grin
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« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2010, 02:41:00 PM »

On an episode of the Mythbuster show they compared drinking to cellphone use.  Assuming they weren't fudging for ratings, they agreed with the conventional wisdom that cellphone usage impaired the driver of a car the same as 2 alcohol drinks.

Recently a SD police officer ran over a bicyclist while he was accessing information.  So while law enforcement were not part of the ban perhaps they should be.

Mike
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« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2010, 02:42:18 PM »

We all do it and we all know we shouldn't - simple as that.

It's illegal here to use a 'phone in a car which isn't 'hands free' - but whilst this makes it impossible to text I'm sure it only partially prevents the 'distraction' issue, which is about the brain focusing on the telephone conversation rather than the driving - and I'm convinced that this is a real issue having seen some pretty convincing demonstrations showing people in driving simulators trying to drive normally whilst doing various mental tasks. Older people have considerably more trouble, incidentally.

And a real life example - a few years ago a friend of mine and I were walking across a fairly busy road when his 'phone rang. When I reached the pavement on the other side I became aware he was no longer beside me - I looked back and saw him chatting happily away whilst standing stationary in the middle of the road, completely oblivious to the traffic bearing down on him.

Jeremy

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« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2010, 02:46:52 PM »

The federal DOT is starting to push for a complete ban on cell phone use in vehicles period.  No hands free.  We're going to see a major battle from all of the cell phone companies if this is proposed as law.  A lot of businesses have mobile employees who make major use of cell phones for employees on the road.  The cell companies could see major loss of customers or reduction in the amount of minutes used.

I will use my cell phone in my car, but very rarely.  Sometimes I am expecting a call from someone who is hard to reach and I have no idea when they might call me back.  I don't make calls in the car that can wait until I'm parked.  I don't text at all and would never do it while driving.

I can eat a snack in my car while having almost zero affect on my drivng.  I don't have to focus on eating like I do a phone call.
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Lin
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« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2010, 03:49:58 PM »

I have a usually strict rule to only do one other thing while driving--driving and eating, driving and knitting, but never driving, eating, and knitting (food stains are hard to get out of the knitting, by the way).  Anyway, I am all for the hands free thing and use an earpiece, but I'm not sure about banning use entirely.  I have read that there are more accidents caused by playing with the audio system (radio, cd's, mp3's, etc) than there are from cell phones.  My rule only applies to my car; doing anything else while driving the bus scares me.

I like this link.  It says rubbernecking is the leading cause of collisions.  Those couples should just pull over!

http://www.sixwise.com/newsletters/05/07/20/the-6-most-common-causes-of-automobile-crashes.htm
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« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2010, 04:08:50 PM »

Jeremy, "Older people have considerably more trouble, incidentally."

Now wait just a minute there fella. I resemble that remark!

On the other hand I have seen no end to clueless young people, doing stupid things while using a cell phone, a walkman, or texting. Wait a minute, maybe they were sexting! Now getting one of those while driving the bus would really be a distraction!

I agree the list of stupid things people do while driving a car is endless. I have even seen one driver speaking on a cell phone using her left hand. At the same time she was smoking a lit cigarette (no that has not been outlawed just yet) using her left hand. This happened while they were the number one car stopped at a traffic signal. I was number two in the same lane. The light changed to green and she immediately pushed the floor shift into first gear with her right hand and drove off. Yes she kept on talking, smoking and shifting until she had run out of gears. I guess she had already evolved a third arm so she could steer the car too! In fact the only thing she did not do was blow the horn. I stayed way back from her so as not to get caught up in her mess.

In our State the courts are jam packed with the stupid and ignorant ones. If you get a speeding ticket here, a factor that is present in 75% of all our State's crashes, they deal it down to little or nothing simply depending on how the DA and Judge feel that day. It is amazing that in the US we only kill around 43,000 per year. NC accounts for almost 1,400 of that total. I think we are in fourth place for the most fatalities per year, behind California, Texas, Florida.

Sickening statistics. We have not even touched on those victims that wind up para or quadraplegics, amputees, facial disfigurations - the list is endless.
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Will Garner, Jr
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« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2010, 04:11:43 PM »

This only affects you if you're a commercial driver, although various existing state laws may already apply to you.

http://www.dot.gov/affairs/2010/dot1410.htm
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DOT 14-10
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Contact: USDOT Public Affairs
Tel: 202-366-4570

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces Federal Ban on Texting for Commercial Truck Drivers

U.S Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced federal guidance to expressly prohibit texting by drivers of commercial vehicles such as large trucks and buses.  The prohibition is effective immediately and is the latest in a series of actions taken by the Department to combat distracted driving since the Secretary convened a national summit on the issue last September.

“We want the drivers of big rigs and buses and those who share the roads with them to be safe,” said Secretary LaHood.  “This is an important safety step and we will be taking more to eliminate the threat of distracted driving.”

The action is the result of the Department’s interpretation of standing rules. Truck and bus drivers who text while driving commercial vehicles may be subject to civil or criminal penalties of up to $2,750.

"Our regulations will help prevent unsafe activity within the cab,” said Anne Ferro, Administrator for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). “We want to make it crystal clear to operators and their employers that texting while driving is the type of unsafe activity that these regulations are intended to prohibit."

FMCSA research shows that drivers who send and receive text messages take their eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds out of every 6 seconds while texting.  At 55 miles per hour, this means that the driver is traveling the length of a football field, including the end zones, without looking at the road.  Drivers who text while driving are more than 20 times more likely to get in an accident than non-distracted drivers.  Because of the safety risks associated with the use of electronic devices while driving, FMCSA is also working on additional regulatory measures that will be announced in the coming months.

During the September 2009 Distracted Driving Summit, the Secretary announced the Department’s plan to pursue this regulatory action, as well as rulemakings to reduce the risks posed by distracted driving. President Obama also signed an Executive Order directing federal employees not to engage in text messaging while driving government-owned vehicles or with government-owned equipment.  Federal employees were required to comply with the ban starting on December 30, 2009.

The regulatory guidance on today’s announcement will be on public display in the Federal Register January 26 and will appear in print in the Federal Register on January 27.

The public can follow the progress of the U.S. Department of Transportation in working to combat distracted driving www.distraction.gov.

END

http://www.dot.gov/affairs/2010/lahood01262010.htm
Quote
Remarks for
Secretary Ray LaHood
Motor Carriers Distracted Driving Press Event
January 26, 2010


Good morning. Thank you for coming.

When the U.S. Department of Transportation sponsored the nation’s first summit on distracted driving last fall, we promised the American people the federal government would do everything in its power to send a clear message that texting, talking, and driving are potentially lethal activities with very serious consequences.

Today I’m announcing the latest in a series of actions DOT is taking to curb distracted driving and help make our roads much safer for everyone.

I’ve directed the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, led by Administrator Anne Ferro, to use its existing authority to prohibit commercial truck and bus drivers from texting while driving, using any handheld cellphone or other device that takes a driver’s attention off the road.

This guidance has far-reaching implications for inter-state drivers who carry cargo or passengers for a living.

Today we’re sending a strong message: We don’t merely EXPECT you to share the road responsibly with other travelers – we REQUIRE you to do so.

This guidance is effective immediately. It applies to inter-state truck drivers. It also applies generally to commercial bus or van drivers who carry more than 8 passengers.

To put this dangerous behavior in perspective, researchers at Virginia Tech found that truck drivers who send text messages on a cell phone are about 23 times more likely to get into some type of crash or near-miss than drivers who keep their eyes on the road.

By including interstate bus operators in this decision, we’re taking an important new step to protect ordinary citizens who rely on their drivers to deliver them safely to their destinations.

The next time your church group or theater group hops on a bus, you can rest easier knowing their drivers are legally forbidden to take their eyes off the road to send or retrieve a text message.

And you can be assured that those who put passengers at risk will face serious consequences.

While we know that all distracted driving laws must depend in part on drivers using their own good judgment and common sense, we also know that penalties act as a deterrent.

Therefore, any truck or bus driver who violates the Federal regulations mentioned in this guidance is subject to a civil and/or criminal penalty up to 2,750 dollars.

I’m proud of this ground-breaking effort to help make America’s highways and back roads safer from coast to coast.

In the months ahead, we’ll propose additional legal remedies and develop new tools that will help us work alongside the law enforcement community, safety advocates, researchers, and others, to find new ways to raise awareness and bring an end to the terrible dangers posed by distracted driving.

Thank you.
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Iceni John
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« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2010, 05:49:54 PM »

For a few months I took flying lessons, and one thing they taught me was that the vehicle operator's primary responsibility is to OPERATE THE VEHICLE.   Whether it's a car, bus, plane or whatever, as my CFI used to say:  "Just Fly The Plane", even if someone is calling you on the radio, or something else is happening.   There is no conversation in the world that absolutely cannot wait until one is off the road and in a safe place to talk.

A few years ago I found a website that showed the relative safety of different countries' highways, expressed in deaths per total miles travelled.   If I remember it correctly, USA was somewhere on par with Portugal and Greece, and several times worse than many other countries.   What shocked me most when I started living here from Europe was the cavalier attitude displayed by so many drivers  -  it seemed, and still seems to me, that driving is just a distraction to their more important things in life, such as yabbing on a cellphone / filling already-overweight bodies with yet more junk food / making sure the make-up is perfect for the Miss Universe pageant they obviously are driving to / etc etc.   Just remember, Americans slaughter far more of their fellow countrymen (and women, and children) on the roads in just one month than perished in the entire 9/11 attacks, and this repeats month after month after month.

Either drive, or talk, but for everyone else's sake please don't do both, please.

John  
« Last Edit: January 26, 2010, 06:39:26 PM by Iceni John » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2010, 06:59:06 PM »

Are you figuring traffic deaths on a per 100 million miles driven basis, or on total deaths?

I suspect Europe is lower because of strict traffic enforcement and I understand the drivers are simply more courteous.  Many American drivers tend to have a me first attitude and some will do just about anything to get home 30 seconds earlier.

Pretty much all of Europe bans cell phone use when driving.  The website I found says to assume cell phones are banned if driving in Europe.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2010, 07:01:28 PM by belfert » Logged

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Iceni John
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« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2010, 07:05:40 PM »

Brian,
It's the relative rate, not the absolute number that I meant.   Sorry if I wasn't clear.
John
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Behind the Orange Curtain, SoCal.
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